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Dynalite XP800: Cutting Through The Mix

By Vincent Ricardel

While on location, the Dynalite XP-800 has proved useful in the most critical of lighting conditions.  That means, cutting through shade, heavy backlight and all the while, utilizing studio quality lighting where access to AC power doesn’t exit.   The following images were made in mountainous and desert conditions that presented numerous lighting challenges.

This set of images were made during the production of an independent short film “AUGUST”  (Directed and Produced by Ian Roach.)  The conditions were challenging due to rain, heavy shade and shifting sunlight.

The following stills are from three scenes where the XP800 served as an effective tool to provide power in shaded and low ambient light conditions.


Scene 1

  Scene 1 was shot following a heavy rainstorm in the middle of a forest in the mountains of West Virginia.  The sun had just emerged with particles of light emerging through a heavy canopy of treetops.

The XP800 powered a 1000xr power supply, a SH2000 head with an SR-80 Beauty Dish.  This combination cut right through the open shade and clearly defined my subject against the background.

Scene2 Lighting

Scene 2

Scene 2 was shot in a very dark cabin.  The only existing ambient light was a result of sunlight transmitting through the windows and candlelight on the walls. The shadow areas were still heavy. To compensate, I placed the power supply on the same axis with the sun to supplement the window light giving me more dynamic range in the shadows and highlights. The XP800 powered a 1000xr power supply, a SH2000 head with an SR-80 Beauty Dish.


Scene 3

Scene 3 was made in the open shade on the porch of the same cabin.  The XP800 powered the 1000xr power supply, a SH2000 head with an SR-80 Beauty Dish.  It provided the right amount of fill light to define the tones and mood of this image.

Shooting in the desert also has its challenges, dust, heat, glaring sunlight and the indigenous wildlife that makeup a rich topical landscape. While my time in Joshua Tree was limited, I set out to make a series of images of what ended up being a long and arduous day of shooting.

I ran my equipment hard.   I had to be mobile but have enough power to override the dominating sunlight.  Again, I chose to use one of my older Dynalite power supply packs, a 1000xr with the newer 2060 flash head and a 35’ Grand Softbox.   All powered by the XP800 power supply.     I started my journey about 8am and ended sometime around 6:30pm.  Most of my shots required a heavy output of power.  Shooting at ISO 100 my prime settings were between f11-f16 back-lit by the sun.    My 1000xr was almost at full capacity and the XP800 handled the heavy pace of shooting flawlessly.   I never had to change out the battery.  That says a lot.

Needless to say, by day’s end my equipment had taken it’s fair share of abuse in the elements and had also taken on a new hue of color from the build up dust and desert debris…  nothing a damp cloth and dust gun could not solve.

“For me. It’s all about cutting through the mix…..shade, overcast and back light. This is where the XP800 excels.  It provides the juice to solve these those challenges.   The saving grace is that the battery life is excellent.

Dynalite’s serve me well. They’re light, reliable and tough. It’s just good stuff.


Scene 3 a


Scene 2

Scene 2


Scene 1_final

Scene 1 final


Coming Soon Vincent’s account on shooting with the XP-800 on location in the Desert